Okra Works program seeking participants

By | Career Services | No Comments

Most college students are looking for ways to help pay for college. Plenty of businesses need part-time help from able-bodied, college-aged people. That’s where the Okra Works program at Delta State is trying to bridge the gap between the two. 

Davlon Miller, director of Career Services at Delta State, has created a program that will connect students who need help to pay for school and businesses who need workers — the Okra Works Program. Currently, the program is in its pilot stage, and Miller is looking for both students and businesses to match up together.

“This is a program that allows students to work in a part-time situation and allows them to focus on their studies on campus,” Miller said. “We mimic it after the amount of tuition needed for a student.”

The student would essentially work for a company and the money earned would go directly to pay for their college.

“We balance it out and allow them to work for that employer for that amount of money,” he said. “But we know that it won’t always work out evenly so there is an option for the employer to give the student a scholarship to make up the difference.”

If tuition is $3,200 and if a student works 10 hours a week over a four-month period, the student would make about $1,700 or more. 

“If the student is in good standing and everything has gone well and according to plan, the employer will pay a ‘merit scholarship’ as well. It’s a good incentive for the student to do well,” he said.  

While it is in the pilot stage, Miller is searching for businesses to take part.

“I’ve been working on it for a while now and I’m looking to get it off the ground,” he said. “We can try our best to match up students with a business related to their major, but we would place students in businesses that have a need.”

Students can sign up on the career services web page and businesses need to contact Miller directly via email at careerservices@deltastate.edu or call him at (662) 846-4646 to take part in the program. Miller is actively searching and seeking both qualified students and businesses. The program will have students ready for businesses to hire.

“We do some screening up front when students apply to see what their need is and their skills are. Businesses don’t normally have time to pre-screen as we do,” Miller said. “We can give them a cross section of students that have applied.”

Okra Works — a program that will benefit both students and businesses.

Alumni to gather in Desoto County

By | Alumni | No Comments

The Delta State University Alumni Association will travel to Southaven for its annual DeSoto County Alumni Event on Aug. 13. This year’s event will be held at the BankPlus Training Center and will begin at 6 p.m.

An update from campus will begin at 6:45 p.m., and the Desoto County Scholarship Silent Auction will be open from 6-8 p.m. The cost will be $15 for individuals and $25 for couples. Children are welcome, and kids under 12 eat free.

President William N. LaForge will be the featured guest from campus. Vice President of Student Affairs, Dr. Vernell Bennett, the Alumni-Foundation staff, as well as other Delta State faculty and staff, will also be in attendance.

Each year, the event has a silent auction with proceeds benefiting the DeSoto County Scholarships, which are awarded to incoming Delta State freshmen from the area. This year’s recipients are Alexis Harrington from Desoto Central High School and Maggie Evans from Southaven High School.

All students interested in attending Delta State University are urged to contact admissions recruiter Katie Shoemaker at 662-846-4020.

Sponsors for the event include:State Farm agents Ryan T. England and Stephanie Morrison; BankPlus; BancorpSouth; Renasant Bank; Northcentral Electric Power; First Security Bank; Cory Uselton; Grapevine Liquor & Wine; and A&B Distributors.

To stay up to date on the Alumni Association’s activities, follow these social media sites: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), Tumblr (http://www.dsualumni.tumblr.com), LinkedIn (DSU alumni), Instagram (dsualumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1). Save the date for Pig Pickin’ (Sept. 24) and Homecoming (Oct. 15).

Delta State presents at Botanical Society of America Conference

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences | No Comments

Delta State University students recently presented at the annual Botanical Society of America Conference held in Savannah, Georgia from July 30 to Aug. 3.

The Botanical Society of America is one of the world’s largest scientific societies dedicated to the study of plants and serves as an umbrella organization that covers all plant specialties including conservation and ecology, historical botany, microbiological interactions, paleobotany, physiology, teaching plant science and more.

This year, more than 1,100 scientists and educators attended the event. Dr. Nina L. Baghai-Riding, professor of biology and environmental science at Delta State, represented the university by  presenting three posters that were given at different sections. Two of the posters emphasized research accomplished by students majoring in environmental science at Delta State.

One poster, given at the paleobotany section, was titled “Paleoclimate and Taphonomic Implications of a Palynological Sample from the Bucatunna Formation.” The poster focused on palynomorphs (fossil pollen, spores and algae) from a geological unit that extends from southeastern Mississippi into Florida. The presentation was co-authored by Dr. Brian Axsmith at the University of Southern Alabama in Mobile, Alabama and Kendal Davis, a 2015 Delta State graduate in environmental science.

The second poster, given at the teaching section, was titled “Comparing tree diversity of the main campus to the golf course at Delta State University, Cleveland, Mississippi.” Seven environmental and biology students were involved in the research, including Emily Bodin, Steven Moreton, Rebekah Napier-Jameson, Megan Clark, Michael Manley, Joseph Cummins and Amanda Bishop. Most of the project was completed in Baghai-Riding’s 2014 conservation biology course.

The third poster was entitled “Digitization of Mississippi herbarium specimens aids in understanding plant diversity in the Southeast and improves K-12 education.” The poster explained how herbarium curators in the state of Mississippi are photographing and inventorying all of the plant specimens in their collections. Delta State is one of six Mississippi herbaria involved in the project and has contributed over 14,500 specimens that are available through the SERNEC Symbiota project (www.sernecportal.org).

Abstract submission for all three posters can be viewed at to the Botanical Society of America website: http://2016.botanyconference.org/engine/search/index.php?func=summary.

Baghai-Riding also served as a PLANTS Grant mentor at this year’s conference. She was recognized as the longest serving mentor, having participated in the role for the past seven years. The PLANTS Grant program is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and Botanical Society of America and brings talented and diverse undergraduates and recently admitted graduate students to the conference.

RESSON to host White Coat Ceremony

By | Academics, School of Nursing | No Comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Arnold P. Gold Foundation (APGF) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) recently announced that 50 schools of nursing across the nation were selected to receive funding support to host White Coat Ceremonies, which emphasize the importance of providing compassionate care among health professionals. Launched in 2013, this ground-breaking collaboration between APGF and AACN was developed to promote humanistic, patient-centered care among future generations of registered nurses.

Delta State University’s Robert E. Smith School of Nursing was one of the 50 schools selected to host the ceremony and the only nursing school in Mississippi to receive this designation.

“By reaching students early in their professional formation with the message that compassion matters, our goal is to ensure that all future healthcare providers see humanism as foundational to their practice,” said Dr. Richard Levin, president and CEO of APGF. “We remain so grateful to the Elaine and Mike Adler family for their enabling support of this crucial collaboration. We are delighted to continue our collaboration with AACN this year, which expands the universe of nursing schools offering White Coat Ceremonies to 210 institutions nationwide.”

Though White Coat Ceremonies have been conducted by medical schools for more than 20 years, the APGF-AACN initiative marks the first time a coordinated effort has been developed to offer similar events at schools of nursing. Nursing joins the growing number of health professions that offer “cloaking” ceremonies, including dentistry, pharmacy, physical therapy, and physician assistants among other disciplines.

To date, 160 nursing schools in 46 states plus the District of Columbia have received financial support and guidance to offer a White Coat Ceremony, which typically consists of the recitation of an oath, an address by an eminent role model, and a reception for students and invited guests.

Students are also given a specially designed pin that serves as a visual reminder of their oath and commitment to providing high quality care. View the listing of schools selected to participate this year.

 “White Coat Ceremonies highlight the important role compassion plays in providing patient-centered care and improving health outcomes,” said Dr. Juliann Sebastian, chair of the AACN board of directors. “With health care becoming more interprofessional and team-driven, nurses, physicians and other providers must embed humanism in their practice as a way to elevate the patient care experience.”

To learn more about nursing opporunitities at Delta State’s RESSON, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/school-of-nursing.


Alumni Association welcomes back Delta State “Ole” grads

By | Alumni | No Comments

The Delta State University Alumni Association will host the 16th annual “Ole” Grad Reunion August 5-6 on the campus of Delta State University.

This year’s event will provide an active schedule, which will feature Delta State Night with guests from campus, a tour of the “Boo” Ferriss Museum, a tour of the Capps Archives & Museum, and a tour of GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi.

Each year, alumni come from all over the state to attend the reunion. “Ole” grads are alumni of Delta State University who are in the Golden Circle, a prestigious group of graduates who have been alumni for 50 years or more.

“Several ‘Ole’ Delta State grads met at Homecoming in 2000 at the Country Platter in Cleveland and the ‘Ole’ Grad Reunion was born,” said Wayne Lee ’57. “Meeting ‘Ole’ Delta State graduates and friends each year at our reunion keeps the die-hard supporters in touch with each other and creates a special bond that cements a relationship beyond description. The Delta State grads attending our annual reunions dearly love Delta State University for many reasons – not the least being Delta State gave each ‘Ole’ grad a feeling of belonging to a special group and a real and competitive chance in life. We urge all ‘Ole’ Delta State graduates, far and wide, to make plans to attend the 16th annual ‘Ole’ Grad Reunion on the campus of Delta State University.”

The event begins Friday with registration at the Hugh Ellis Walker Alumni-Foundation House from 5-5:30 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m. A silent auction will be open from 5-9 p.m. on Friday and 8 am. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.

The cost per person is $25 per night. Proceeds from the silent auction will go to the Anniversary Scholarship. To view the invitation and full schedule of events, visit the website https://www.deltastategiving.org/alumniassociation/olegradreunion.

To stay up to date on the Alumni Association’s activities, follow these social media sites: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), Tumblr (http://www.dsualumni.tumblr.com), LinkedIn (DSU alumni), Instagram (dsualumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1). Save the date for Pig Pickin’ (Sept. 24) and Homecoming (Oct. 15).